Settlers of Catan

  1. Computer Versions
  2. Major Sites

Settlers of Catan is an addictive board game that I first played in 1997 or so. When I was getting into it, I found a bunch of interesting web sites, but no comprehensive lists of links to them. I therefore starting creating my own page of links to Catan sites, focusing on providing useful characterizations of each site. I've also added a downloadable DOS version of Catan, and other PC versions... Check them out!

1. Computer Versions

There are a lot of computer versions of Settlers of Catan floating around. Not all are complete or available. Here are the ones which seem the most available and/or playable. All of them are free and multiplayer except where noted.

Links last checked: 2011-08-08

Currently Available:

Jens Willibald's Catan for PC (download, 804K)
DOS/Windows version, originally found at Kulkmann's G@meBox. The interface is clunky, but gameplay is lightning fast, and it has bots, so you can play solitaire. I've repackaged it, adding a bunch of scenarios, documentation, and tips. For details see readme.txt (included in the zip). Last updated 2005-07-15

NOTE: To get this to work in 64-bit Windows, you need to use DOSBox; for a bigger window, make sure this line is in the DOSBox config file: scaler=normal2x forced

This open-source version, replaces the old JSettlers project. It's java-based, and requires you to download and run a server and client, executable from the command line. Getting it up and running is a bit of a pain, and the interface is very clunky and slow. However, at least it has bots, and once you're into the game it's actually pretty clear and fun. Right now this is the best option for playing playing Catan for free. I just hope the developers spend some time making installation and execution more user friendly!
Microsoft's Catan: the Computer Game (download, $30)
The online version was discontinued in 2009. When I tried it, it gave me 60 free minutes, but after that you had to purchase, so I assume I was seeing the complete game. It had bots and a very clean interface. You can get rid of the sounds and speed up the interface, but the remaining animations and popup windows still slow the game down. As a solo game, it was sluggish, but still fun. When the 60 minutes ran out I was disappointed, which I guess is a good sign!
NetSettlers (download)
This multiplayer Win32 game looks pretty good, but development seems to have ceased in 2001. There's no single player or hotseat (yet), so it's hard to give it a decent test.
Pioneers (linux)
This was formerly called "Gnocatan". The game server runs on linux, but a game client can run on Windows. I didn't see mention of any bots. (online, download)
No registration necessary for the intro game, which seems to always start with the same board layout. The bots are ok, but the interface is sluggish. The download version is almost exactly the same, except you have to play against real people.

NOTE: They no longer let you run a free game without the tutorial, which takes away some of the game play. So, another free Catan bites the dust!

Broken or Discontinued:

AsoBrain - Xplorers (online)
You have to register first, which does not require email. This has bots and supports two variants (Cities and Knights, Cheops), and lots of different maps. The graphics are clear and the interface is easy, but the sounds and popups get a little annoying. There is one annoying interface quirk: when you reach the victory point requirement, you need to remember to hit Claim Victory, or you won't actually win. Even with the annoyances, this is my favorite Settlers game.
NOTE: Registration closed in 2010 with no clear plans to re-open as of 2011-08-08.
Denda - Catan Deluxe Edition CD (20 Euros)
Computer versions of Catan, Seafarers, Starfarers, and the card game all on CD. There doesn't seem to be a semo, and the site is in Dutch, so I can't tell you much more about it.
NOTE: I no longer see a catan game on the site as of 2011-08-08.
Ravensburger's Settlers of Catan CD - out of print?
Ravensburger created a CD version a few years ago. Unfortunately, their site ( now features an unrelated game. Ravensburger Catan seems to have vanished. The reason I'm still mentioning it is that lots of people said it was really good.
S3D Connector (download)
You can play online or offline, and there are several rule and map options. I didn't see any bots yet, though, so there's no true solo play. Graphics are pretty good, but the interface needs a little streamlining.
NOTE: The site is down as of 2011-08-08.
Solito's Catan Server (online)
This doesn't have bots yet, but if you open 2 browser windows, you can test it by playing again yourself. It's attractive and easy to figure out; well executed - I'm very impressed!
NOTE: The game server is down as of 2011-08-08.
This site lets you play online with a choice of 2 different Catan versions: Xplorers (Java, discussed above) and Pioneers of Peru (download, illegal?). Not all the info is available in English, and I don't want to try illegal software, so you're on your own here!
NOTE: This site is broken as of 2011-08-08.
Yahoo Groups - settlers-of-catan ($6)
Play by email, includes Knights and Cities. Requires one-time registration fee. I didn't try it yet. The message board hasn't seen any traffic since 2004, so it might not be actively supported anymore.
NOTE: This group no longer exists as of 2011-08-08.

2. Major Sites

Links last checked: 2008-05-23

site date pix news rev rules sale strat alt other
BoardGameGeek 200? ###     ##   # ### forum, downloadable references, lots of links 2008 ## #   #   ##   Klaus Teuber's site; sales and encyclopedia not available yet.
Game Cabinet 2000     # #   #   example of play; search engine broken.
Kulkmann's G@mebox 2006 ##   ##       # DOS version of Catan
Mayfair Games 2008 ## ## # # ###   ## release calendar 2006 # # ### # ##     clean, friendly, modern look; poll, comments 2008 ##           # two pages
Trevor Dewey 1997 #   # #   ## # thesaurus, FAQ for German rules only
Unicorn's Rest 1997 # #   ##     ### random map generator
University of Catan 2002 #     #   ### ### some broken links, but great FAQ and variants


The scores (0-3) represent the quantity of information available at the site in the particular areas of interest. Also, I only consider information that physically resides at the specified site; links to other pages are not always reliable and are therefore disregarded.

Other Sites:

Frenchie's Catan CardGame Tools
focuses on card game